The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced plans to investigate mobile carriers’ compliance with rules requiring them to explain to consumers how they use and share their location data.
Telecommunication companies and social media platforms have long been accused of using customer data without consent. The data harvested from consumers is used for targeted advertising, and the decision to use consumer data without their consent ultimately invades their privacy.
“This information and geolocation data is really sensitive. It’s a record of where we’ve been and who we are. That’s why the FCC is taking steps to ensure that this data is protected,” FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said.
The decision to investigate compliance with the location data rules follows an earlier order issued in July requiring 15 leading mobile operators to provide information about their data retention, privacy policies and practices.
The FCC released the answers on Thursday and also made it easy for consumers to file complaints on the FCC website.
The issue of location data is considered highly sensitive, a key reason why the FCC is taking all necessary steps to ensure that users’ locations are not tracked.
Now that new abortion restrictions are in the works, it is important to hide location data, as it provides a digital footprint that could be used by law enforcement to determine whether a person is illegally terminating a pregnancy.